@WilsonHines is a guy I met on Twitter a while back. I’ve discovered that when it comes to Wilson, I’m clearly breaking the 10th commandment. That’s the one that says: Thou shall not covet.

Wilson and I have similar plans for our lives. He wants to get out of trucking and get a degree. I do too. We also both married hotties that we don’t deserve. His wife recently became a nurse. The Evil Overlord has started classes to become a sonographer. The difference is, when it comes to goals, Wilson and his wife are a couple of years ahead of me and The Evil Overlord; which just isn’t fair since we’re older than them.

[box]Listen to the audio version above and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
Or enter http://abouttruckdriving.com/truckerdump.xml into your favorite podcast app.
Download the intro/outro songs for free! courtesy of Walking On Einstein
Mystery Feedback Song – Only a cheater would click this before listening to the podcast! You aren’t a cheater, are you?[/box]

This past week, Wilson cleaned out his truck for the last time. Clearly, I didn’t. Patience has never been my particular virtue, but this time I’ve got no choice in the matter. I’d love to drop my truck at the nearest company terminal, but the fact is, I need to pay off some debt before I can start school. So I guess it’s time to suck it up.

Here’s the thing that gets me. I’m being a hypocrite working at my present job. Normally, if I hear a driver talking about not getting home in a timely manner, I tell them to find another job. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that my company has utterly failed in getting me home the first two times I’ve tried. Yet I’m still not quitting and moving to another company. Why?

For one thing, I would never make a decision based on two failed attempts to get me home. The thing that has me leery is that this rarely happened when I drove for this company the first time. Because of where I live, it’s never been easy to get me home. Still, I’d say 95% of my home times with them the first time around were successful. I’m hoping that their current failings are just a fluke. I’m having some strong doubts though.

Secondly, the money is just too stinkin’ good. Many times a carrier is willing to pay a high mileage rate because they know that you won’t be getting many miles. Others will offer you high miles cuz they know they’re giving you the shaft on pay per mile. My company gives me both.

I make more money per mile than most companies are willing to offer. None of it is based on unobtainable bonuses either. Furthermore, my first five paychecks had miles of: 2859, 3176, 2607, 2223 (lame home time week), and 3053. That’s pretty freakin’ good, especially compared to what I was getting at my last company, both in terms of miles and mileage pay. And before anyone asks; sorry, I never say the company’s name online. Still, is good money reason enough to stick around?

When The Evil Overlord and I decided to return to school after 13 years we knew it would be tough. Only rich students have the luxury of turning a college education into a series of keg parties and bong hits. The rest of us have to make major sacrifices. Finances will probably be tight. Weekend camping trips will turn into writing research papers. Keeping up with all your favorite TV shows? Yeah. You can forget that.

Sadly, my sacrifice is going to have to start before I even get to school. I’m going to have to tolerate a company that doesn’t meet all of my criteria. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; there is no perfect trucking company. Your job as a driver is to find one that has annoyances that you can live with. What is that annoyance? Well, it’s different for everyone. You’ll have to figure that one out on your own.

My number one priority right now is to make as much money as I can. I simply have to pay off some debt before I can attend college. This company is providing me with bigger paychecks than I can make anywhere else. Unfortunately, they’re also providing me with iffy home time. Therein lies my sacrifice.

My first home time involved getting me home a day late and the load only allowing me 30 hours off. Sure that stinks, but when I came back to this company I knew that this sort of thing happened now and then. Granted, it didn’t keep me from giving my dispatcher a big ol’ fat piece of my mind, but in the end I had to suck it up and deal with it.

As I’m writing this, I’m trying to get home for the second time. I’ve got to admit that this is a new experience for me. I have never driven for a company that didn’t get me home within a day or two of my requested time. Usually I get home the day I requested. This time, I asked for Saturday and Sunday off. As of now, it’s Tuesday and I’m heading to Iowa to deliver a load on Wednesday. I live in Missouri. Someone needs a geography lesson.

If anyone sees a way out of this, I’d be glad for them to point the way. As of now, The Evil Overlord and I have resolved that the next 6-7 years are probably going to suck harder than a chain-smoking death row inmate; especially when I’m still out here in the truck.

She has class every weekday and studies at night. If she has any time off at all, it’s always on the weekend. So far, my company can’t seem to get me home on weekends. So if I get home on weekdays, I’ll get to be alone during the day and watch her study at night. Yay for me. I’ll pray that changes, but I imagine God’s got bigger fish to fry.

I will say that if my goal was to drive a truck for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t tolerate my company’s inability to get me home on time; no matter how much money I made. I’d give it another couple of months, and if things didn’t change, I’d jump ship.

However, since there is an end and a clear goal in sight, it’s time to suck it up and be a man. Just don’t expect me to quit whining about it anytime soon. I’ll just try to whine in a really deep macho voice.

Photo by kiwanja via Flickr

About the Author
I'm a 22-year truck driver with an interest in tech stuff. I do the Trucker Dump podcast and blog, which is all about life as a trucker. I have also written two trucking books, "Trucking Life" and "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job."
5 comments on “TD51: Sucking It Up
  1. I’m cheering for you and the {not so evil} Evil Overlord! God always seems to put a passion in us to carry us through those times where patience is needed. I should know, patience is one of those recurring lessons in my life! Enjoy!

  2. Wilson Hines says:

    “Anyone w/ gumption & a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.” – Beowulf

    We are reading Beowulf in British Lit, and me being the literature freak I have enjoyed Beowulf; I haven’t read it since 12th grade. That quote was a coast guardsmen whom met Beowulf as he was coming ashore to help the Danes defeat Grendal. Beowulf was telling him how he was just going to come ashore and whoop this creatures tail and fix all their troubles and make them a cream pie with a cherry on top, and this guardsmen said “Anyone with gumption & a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.” In other words, “Beowulf, that’s nice, but show me the money.”

    I wrote that phrase in my Rhodia 2010-2011 Academic Calendar, my Bible right below the words I wrote years ago “ipisma verba”, or Latin for “the very words.” I have written that silly quote out of Beowulf on an “evernote” and I intend on living by that quote MYSELF!

    If you want to bring God and his will into this foray, may you be appeased by these words: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” – Prov 16.9. That was the ESV, but I kind of like half of the way the KJV does it too. Together they would read, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD directeth his steps.”

    All that being said, it is real easy for me to sit here and say, “Well you just need to ‘man up’ and get your heart right and quit your job right now. You need to pump gas and go to the community college and get this crap out of the way!” I haven’t talked a WHOLE LOT, but some, about how I am doing this deal. Ms. Nikki IS NOT an R.N. as of YET. In may, she will have her nursing degree and in June she will sit for her board exam. In August she will be enrolled at East Carolina University in the B.S.N program for a Bachelor’s in Nursing, WHILE she works a brand new job AT THE SAME TIME.

    Right now, we are penniless. Either one of my children literally have more money in their piggy banks than I have in Bank of America. Interested in how I am doing this? Here’s the 1-2-3 skinny: I had two trucks. I was leased to my father and I hauled my own freight (did my own thing). I sold one of my trucks back to him, but not for cash (will get there in a minute). Then I have lent him my other truck free of rent (so to speak). My custom produce trailer is sitting in the yard and is only to be used in dire straits. The trade off is I use my credit card for EVERYTHING, and at the end of the month the old man writes me a check. That is basically how that works, in a nutshell, because it is much more complicated than this, but that is the baby, not the nine months. If I gave you the nine months, I’d be here for nine months :).

    The last paragraph deduces the following: My family is wealthy. My old man won’t admit that, and quite frankly, we are a working class family. But, as you drive by the country side of America and you’re thinking to yourself as you pass a huge farm, with grain bins, barns, tractors, and 10 eighteen wheelers “Wow, that guy’s got everything.” Yeah, he does. That is the life my dad lives. Everything clicked for him, except the year he lost $500k in farming in 1988. My dad thinks he’s broke, but we are very, very wealthy and I know this fact. And I mean wealth simply by the fact he has a good name, a good family, and has amassed land and equipment over several decades. He is a boiled frog, in that he doesn’t see his wealth because he has acquired it over such a long period of time; but to you, if you were to have everything my father has laid in your lap you’d think immediately, “I’m rich!”

    Let’s bring the LORD God back into this equation. When I went to college the FIRST time, it was in Knoxville, TN and my father had been full time trucking for only three years (1993). He sent me to Bible college, sent me a check every week, and PAID EVERYTHING. When I ordered books at the beginning of the semester I would order the textbooks and then I would have a huge bibliography list I wanted and I would ORDER EVERYTHING and he just paid the bill! Before I went to college, my Dad’s business sucked and after I went to BIBLE COLLEGE to be a pastor my Dad’s business FLOURISHED!

    Three weeks ago I made the decision to dive deep and go full time. Our business has been very, very week since all this financial crap started and quite frankly, my old man started to worry.

    THE VERY FREAK’N DAY I committed to go full time back to school we got TWO LARGE commitments on freight! Understand this, he has bought two trucks in the past two weeks and hired three new drivers to deal with all of this new work. God has called me to do what I am doing. Ask yourself, “Has God called me to do what I DESIRE to do (remember that Prov 16.9 verse?)??

    God has called me into the field of biblical linguistics. I will be teaching young men Koine Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, German, probably Hittite, and coptic. The same God that calls me to do something so crazy and big in the minds of most men also calls people to “pump gas” and it has the very same value of importance in the eyes of God. I am going to teach people to take the Bible and make that book a 4D beast in the hands of a pastor whom will teach people the Words of God. But, the guy “pumping gas” is the man whom will lead a soul to Christ. Both are necessary and quite frankly, I think the gas guy has the job with the biggest potential.

    What has God called you to do? I don’t know what you’re going to school for, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be a biblical scholar, it only has to be the will of God and then all of a sudden God takes your desire and shines the light on the path you’re to take to accomplish that will.

    What you have to ask yourself is if God shines that light, is he big enough to “make the ends meet” financially? I will let you figure that out for yourself. But, quite frankly, my father didn’t get those freight commitments until two hours after I made my own commitment to school.

    I love you brother and I am praying for you and your wife, even if she is evil. 🙂

    1. Todd McCann says:

      And therein lies the problem. I can’t really say I’ve been “called” to do anything in particular. I pray every day for guidance, but I still haven’t figured out God’s plan for me yet. I sometimes wish for the days of the Old Testament where an angel would appear and wrestle you into submission.

      One thing I do feel “called” to do is get myself off the road. I believe that being a witness for God is best done by setting an example for others by living a Christian life. Sure, there are some people who have the gift of witnessing to a total stranger, but I think 9 times out of 10, that approach isn’t affective.

      So my goal right now is to get off the road and get into school. I’ve got some basic courses to take before I decide on a major, so I’ll keep praying for God to peak my interest in something and point the way. If school isn’t my calling, then I’ll probably lose interest or make poor grades.

      I’ve no doubt that God can and will provide for his people. However, the Bible also says that a man who doesn’t take care of his family is worse than an unbeliever and that the borrower is slave to the lender. Neither of those things sound like much fun, so I think I’ll take it slow for now. There will come a day to jump. When that day comes, I’m counting on the fact that God packs a mean parachute bag.

  3. hmm, I wonder if God has “writer” on that parachute bag he’s packin for ya.

    1. Todd McCann says:

      I don’t know, but I wish he’d tell me what the heck is going on. I’d ask him to reach down and smack me into his will, but I’m afraid it might sting just a tad bit. I really appreciate all your support and comments that you leave. You rule and stuff.

Holding in your comments can cause constipation. Save yourself the pain and leave a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.